Hello, I'm looking to buy a new pistol soon. Iv decided on either the glock or the smith and Wesson m&p. now the only decision is whether to get the 9mm, .40 cal, or the .45 cal. I want to hear your opinions about pros, cons, price to shoot, best brand of ammo, best grain, practicality, etc. anything you think I need to know about these I want you to tell me! Thanks for the input and y'all have a nice day!
P.S. This is going to be a conceal and carry pistol.
Well you didn't specify which Glock or M&P so I am going to assume a general stance in my responses here.
Both are fine choices and would serve you well. I have examples in all three of your mentioned calibers in the M&P and two of them (9mm and .40S&W) in the Glock line. For what it's worth, I carry one of my gen3 Glock 23's (.40) on a regular basis and I shoot one of my M&P's (9mm Pro Series with 4.25" barrel) quite a bit.
The 9mm in either of these platforms is going to be less expensive and easier to shoot than the other two calibers because the ammo is cheaper and the recoil is less. This is not to say this caliber is the better choice for self defense but it is a better choice for people new at this game who both want and need range work practice. For target 9mm, my preference is Winchester "White Box" in 115 grain FMJ or Federal American Eagle 115 grain, also in FMJ. The same goes for .40S&W and .45ACP in terms of brands of ammo though bullet weight preferences for me are 165 grain and 230 grain respectively.
So what do I think you would be smart to consider in either of these platforms for a new gun, a new gun owner, and copious range work? The Glock 19 or the M&P 9 with the 4.25" barrel. My primary reason for suggesting these two guns, other than the fact that both are excellent choices, is the possibility that you may want to carry at some point and both make fine carry guns. The primary reason I did not mention choices in .40S&W or .45ACP is due to the cost of ammunition. If this is not a factor, then let me know and I'll cover those calibers as well.
I can offer more info if you also offer more criteria and your personal conditions (do you have large hands, what about experience with firearms, etc.).
When you say the best it implies a misnomer. What's best for you may not be best for someone else. It's going to boil down to training and your shot placement above the caliber choice involving these three. If you have limited experience in shooting handguns other than the .22, the 9mm has less felt recoil, unless you opt for a large framed semi in the .40 or 45. Shooting .40 and .45 and even some 9mm in pistols less than 17 ounces is generally a hand full. More recoil = more muzzle flip and generally more time to get your sights back on target unless you are an advanced shooter. Even so, a snappy recoiling pistol in a beginner's hands may bring on flinching, pulling, heeling, dipping etc... The question I pose to you is which caliber do you shoot the best, meaning which caliber can you accurately put on target in the least amount of time? If you can't hit your target it won't matter what caliber your using and perhaps pose a safety risk to non intended targets. In other words it may not be wise to put the cart before the horse.
My XD40sc is the exact same size as the XD9sc the wife carries.
I see the .40 as the sweet spot between 9 and .45, with the power (energy delivered to BG) and mag capacity.
The M&P 40 is also a very fine piece and mine has the 4.25" barrel just like my Pro 9. It is accurate and very comfortable to shoot and has a decent magazine capacity. The M&P line is right up there with the best. My M&P 45 has the full size frame with the 4" barrel. I chose this one in the .45ACP because it felt so good in my hand and has a very good balance. It is also sized right for carrying purposes in my opinion. With the three backstrap inserts, it's easy to find the correct grip feel for your hand. I have somewhat smaller hands and the small insert in the .45 works best for me while the medium is best in my 9mm and .40 M&P's.
Best thing you could do is to visit a shop that has a range and rent some of these guns to see what works best for you. Any one of them should do you well.
All pistol calibers, 9mm, .40 and .45, will generally do the same thing as all are relatively weak, generally speaking. The .40 was/is the middle of the road caliber between the 9mm and .45. Over the years 9mm bullets became heavier and .45 bullets became lighter all striving for the ultimate pistol round.
A lot of issues with the 9mm were related to the lack of good expanding hollow points or good self defense ammo in general. With modern defensive ammo it works quite well. The .45 is not a sure thing either. It does shoot a larger diameter and heavier bullet but that does not assure that it will drop the bad guy in one shot either.
The .40 gives a middle of the road bullet diameter and weight in a package roughly the size of a 9mm with the same basic magazine capacity. The trend over the last few years has been to put the biggest caliber into the smallest gun possible which is not always a good thing.
The standard Glock 21, to me, had such a large grip that I simply felt I was holding a 2 x 4 in my hand. The 9mm and .40's were no problem. At one time I had every model of .40 cal Glock that was made and ending up selling them off simply because it would not go anything the 9mm would not do.
I own several 9mm and .45 caliber handguns many being M&P's. I generally carry a 9mm of some type, on occasion I carry my 1911. My dedicated house gun is a full size M&P .45 I simply chose it because I shoot it well it could just as easily be a 9mm.
Over here I carry a 9mm Glock 19 with a WML and ball ammo identical to the one I carry back home and have never felt under gunned. It has done everything I needed it to. You have to decide what fits your need and your grip, skills and manipulation abilities are no matter what the brand as long as it is a quality brand.
Good luck in your search.
I have 8 Glocks and my favorite is the Glock 19 9mm. With 127 grain +p+ Rangers they are a 91% manstopper with one bullet. I can shoot the 9mm faster and more accurate than the other Glocks and Calibers so that is why I carry it. The Glock 23 .40 S&W is a good gun too but the recoil is snappy and the Glock 36 .45acp has the worst recoil of all the Glocks. The myth of a 9mm being underpowered came in the 80's when transition to higher capacity pistols started but the ammo evolution was not as developed yet as it is today. Today any of the major 9mm rounds will give good results with proper placement. The ammo is easier to find and cheaper! Get yourself a Glock 19 and you will be fine.
I say 9mm though many of the compacts have the same frame size for both 9 and 40.
If someone manufactured a compact pistol chambered for the .50 BMG round, that's what I'd go with.
Oh yeah.....and it would have to have night sights.
I'd say start with the 9mm and "mandle" (man handle) your way up. Makes sense IMO.
I prefer the 40s&w. More punch than a 9mm, carry more rounds than a .45. The only down side is muzzle flip in the lighter guns(if that bothers you). If you don't want the muzzle flip you need a heavier weapon which might not be ideal for a ccw with some people. All my pistols are 40s&w and revolvers are .357. The .357sig is another great ccw round.
If you are going to have one gun to range shoot, and/or carry, and/or home defend, etc.:
I think 9mm is a fantastic platform. I prefer the 124gr bullets for range work. Speer Lawman is good stuff at a reasonable price.
Think about it this way-- I will shoot maybe 10,000+ rounds of it before I die, and none of them will go into an intruder, rapist, crazy meth head, etc. (or at least I'm hoping that I won't be required to do that). That said, if I ever needed to, the 9mm with my +p JHP defensive rounds x 17+1 should be a sh!tload of "stopping power". But until then, I will be having fun shooting a caliber that is fairly cheap and fairly easy to master.
I'm partial to the .45 ACP round and enjoy shooting and carrying pistols from as large as my S&W M&P .45 (full size) to my little SA XDs.
For stopping power it's hard to beat a 120 mm Main Battle Gun from an Abrams Tanks. You should carry one of these bad boys to stop a would be assault on your home.
What the price difference between these rounds ?
9, 40, 45